A.A.R.M. Q&A with David Rogers

Who played the adorable baby Phillip?

Is it “Beesly” or “Beesley”?

And what’s the heartfelt real story behind Jim’s card to Pam?

These questions answered and much, much more, in OfficeTally’s final Q&A (*sniff*) with the awesome director and editor of A.A.R.M., David Rogers.

David not only answers your questions but he goes super in-depth with lots of behind-the-scenes details!

Best. Q&A. Ever. Thank you, Dave!

David: Hey everybody! I’m so appreciative for all the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve been getting for A.A.R.M.! Thank you so much for watching and taking the time to write comments and ask questions. I’m gonna jump right in and answer two of the big ones right away.

Greg: During the intro to Jim’s CD, was “Beesly” intentionally misspelled as “Beesley”? Or was that just a mistake?

David: Pam’s last name is supposed to be spelled “Beesly.” That’s how Greg Daniels intended it to be. But I think once or twice early on it was misspelled as “Beesley”, at least in the scripts or press, and he felt we were stuck with that spelling. Even Dunderpedia: The Office Wiki has it spelled as Beesley!

But after I read the first comment pointing out that the spelling might be wrong, I went hunting for onscreen references. I found one outside their Wedding Rehearsal Dinner and it’s spelled Beesly. However Halpert is spelled as Halpret as a joke so I couldn’t be sure that Beesly was spelled right. But then in Business School, at her art show, her last name is on the wall as Beesly.

I am planning on changing the spelling for all future airs, syndication cuts, and on the DVDs and Blurays.

Grumpy Walrus: If my memory serves me correctly, didn’t the doctor specifically say Dwight was not the father? It was done in a way that I think would be hard for Angela to set that up.

David: The other big question is how is Dwight Phillip’s father when the DNA test said that he wasn’t? In Free Family Portrait Studio, Dwight pulled a diaper out of the bathroom and had the lab run a DNA test from that. But between Jim and Pam’s kids, and other babies and children from the building complex being there, it’s safe to say that there were other diapers in the trash and Dwight grabbed the wrong one. If Angela didn’t think the baby was or at least could possibly be Dwight’s, she never would have went off and chased after him and the diaper in the first place. And when the doctor tells them that the baby isn’t his, she does have a look of surprise.

We even had a line when Dwight brings Angela into his office to tell her that he thinks Phillip is a Schrute — he says, “It’s about Phillip. How do I put this… I still think there was some mix-up, or you gave the lab the wrong diaper, or lots of people can have the same DNA…”

And Angela also added a little something in the proposal scene, about Dwight maybe grabbing the wrong diaper after she told Dwight that Phillip was his son. But ultimately, we didn’t want viewers who weren’t familiar with what happened in Free Family Portrait Studio, to be confused and pulled out of the scene wondering what they were talking about.

Mathieu: My favorite shots in the episode were the one with Jim and Dwight! How much was improvised during those takes?

David: John and Rainn are incredible, in that they can really nail the scripted version of a scene by the second or third take, and then they start to play. As long as the key lines and moments are hit and the intent of the scene is clear, they will try different lines and physical actions to see if they can make the situation funnier and ultimately better. I will give a few examples of some of the improvisation that they came up with that were not in the original shooting draft.